Former Senator Shehu Sani says the closure of Nigeria’s land borders has failed to yield any result.
Sani said the closure of the borders had worsened the economic situation of the country and inflicted hardship on Nigerians.
He spoke on Wednesday on a PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable.
Sani was reacting to the announcement of the reopening of four of the nation’s land borders by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, after a Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
Nigeria had in August 2019 closed its land borders to curtail illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into country from neighbouring West African nations.
Sani, however, argued that the 16-month border closure did not help to boost the country’s agricultural output or rice production as claimed by the Federal Government.
He said, “We have not achieved anything by closing the borders but have only inflicted hardship on the border communities and Nigerians.
“The closure of borders has not stopped herdsmen and bandits from moving in with weapons.
“If it is about rice, are we now producing enough? No, we are not doing that. The cost of a bag of rice has even become more expensive because of the closure of the borders.”
He added that the closure of the borders is not the solution to smuggling but the use of technology and the empowerment of the immigration, the military, the police, and other security personnel manning the borders.
Sani, who also noted that Nigeria’s terrorism had spread to neighbouring West African countries such as Benin Republic, Chad, Cameroon, and others, stressed that decisive action must be taken by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to end insecurity in the country.